Light on Water
by Lisa A. Koosis
How odd, that on the eve of my twenty-first birthday I should identify most strongly with the flies, dead, dying, or soon to be dying, that litter the ledge just inside the dome. Or maybe not so odd, I think, watching the living ones propel themselves again and again against the thick material that separates them - and me - from the potentially lethal world around us. Potentially lethal, I should say, for me - for people - not for flies.
And no matter how many times the bots make their circuit, sweeping away all expired organic material to be recycled, no matter how many times they come, there are more dead flies.
The sun, orange and round, dips below the horizon. As darkness falls, the flies begin to settle, at least until tomorrow, when they renew their quest for impossible freedom.
Along with me.
“Hey Toby, shove over.”
I shift slightly on the ledge. Everest brushes away some of the flies before sitting. His weight is solid against me, and I lean into him. He puts his hand on my back and rubs, making small circles with his palm.
“What are you thinking?” he asks.
I shake my head, turn slightly, and press my palm against the dome, savoring the cool night air through it, as if by osmosis, I can absorb it.